2020 Top New Compound Bows

A summary of the latest technology and new compound bows from top manufacturers.

2020 Top New Compound Bows

For nearly two decades, I’ve been asking myself, “How can bows get any better than this?” Well, manufacturers continually improve and innovate, and the results keep wowing the archery industry. Certainly, bow-technology advancements are stronger in some years over others. Also, what was a technological breakthrough one year could die on the vine only a few years later. Regardless, the ever-changing landscape constantly leaves archery consumers anticipating what will be next.

Things are looking up for 2020, and several manufacturers have made notable advancements. Before we dive into 2020’s top picks, though, I’ll briefly summarize the attributes you can expect from many of the newest bows.

Strength

A tool that gets used extensively — be it a cordless drill or a compound bow — must be dependable. Bow manufacturers understand this and are making bows more durable than ever. Materials are a bow’s fortress, and manufacturers are actively testing new materials and manufacturing processes. The results are benchmark riser stiffness and overall strength.

A common denominator many top bows now have is a tunneled riser. This concept, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, reduces riser flexing when the bow is drawn and fired, therefore creating better consistency and greater dependability. It fortifies the bow — think bridge-like strength — and simplifies tuning, which is why many manufacturers are incorporating the design into their bows.

Stability

Just 10 to 15 years ago, purchasing a short axle-to-axle bow meant sacrificing lots of stability for maneuverability. Why? Because limbs commonly made up at least half of a bow’s overall length. In other words, a 32-inch bow of yesteryear lacked stability due to a short riser.

Today’s risers — especially on short hunting bows — now make up nearly all of a bow’s axle-to-axle length, which means stability has substantially improved. Consider this example: I recently held the Mathews VXR 31.5 (31.5 inches axle to axle) next to an old Mathews Conquest 3 (41 inches axle to axle) and found that the VXR 31.5 has a longer riser. In other words, manufacturers are building shorter, more maneuverable hunting bows with target-bow stability.

I’m also seeing manufacturers add rear stabilizer mounts, which allows the shooter to add some form of rear weight with adjustment laterally, such as Stokerized’s RDS or possibly a sidebar. Not only does this anchor the bow better in windy conditions, but it also works to counterbalance the weight of bow-mounted accessories. Thus, today’s bows can outbalance past year’s bows because you can add weight to key areas.

Shootability

While speed hasn’t lost its place in the compound-bow market, it’s obvious that most manufacturers are producing bows that shoot almost effortlessly. Cam systems are highly efficient, optimizing speed, smoothness and shootability — welcome attributes on the line and in the woods.

Further, cam systems, plain and simple, are easier than ever to tune. Many manufacturers are using self-adjusting cable yokes that connect to the cams rather than the axles, which practically eliminates lean. In turn, arrow departure is cleaner than ever out of the box, which simplifies paper and walk-back tuning for you, the dealer.

One manufacturer that has notably enhanced shootability is Bowtech. Its Deadlock Cam Technology allows the cams to be adjusted right or left on the axle and then locked permanently in place. The Deadlock Cam offers a new level of tuning, which means truer arrow departure and improved accuracy and consistency.

And, grips are trimmer than ever, plus select manufacturers such as Gearhead Archery are offering multiple grip options so that your customers can find a feel that naturally fits their shooting style.

Top-Notch Aesthetics

Not long ago, most bows were offered in Realtree or Mossy Oak camo only. While many still are, the menu has certainly expanded to include tactical offerings and other camo patterns such as Kuiu, Gore Optifade and Ridge Reaper, to name a few. Today, Hoyt, as one example, offers its hunting bows in 11 different finishes. Talk about options.

Further, accessories such as silencers, dampeners and bowstrings are available in nearly every color, making it simple for your customers to individualize their bows and create an order with a custom aesthetic flavor.

I could dive deeper into trending technologies, but why bore you with needless fluff when we can get right to the good stuff? Without further ado, here are the top picks from 2020’s new-bow lineup.

 

APA Archery

It doesn’t get more maneuverable that APA Archery’s Mamba 28 MT, a 28-inch axle-to-axle bow that features a racy reflexed riser with an integrated carrying handle, which also strengthens the riser. Despite an ultra-forgiving 7 1/8-inch brace height, the Mamba 28 MT smokes at up to 350 fps. Now featuring APA’s Micro Tune Technology, no tools are required to make quick, seamless adjustments. The narrow built-in grip optimizes comfort and manages torque.

The Black Mamba 38 gets an overhaul with the new Black Mamba Riser, which increases balance and stability for the best in target performance. The ball-bearing cable-containment system delivers a smooth draw and plenty of vane clearance. A stout 4.4-pound mass weight helps the bow to anchor well in the shooter’s hand, and that’s particularly beneficial when exposed to the uncontrollable factors pertinent to outdoor 3-D archery. At 37 7/8 inches between the axles, the Black Mamba 38 could easily double as a hunting bow with a 340-fps ATA rating.

MSRP: $999, Mamba 28 MT; $1,519, Black Mamba 35.

CONTACT: www.apaarchery.com

 

Bear Archery

Speed meets accuracy in Bear’s Status EKO, which features a 6-inch brace height and a well-balanced platform with a 33-inch axle-to-axle length. The EKO Cams are concentric and draw liquid smooth with the option to shoot one of four different let-off settings — 75 percent, 80 percent, 85 percent or 90 percent. Sonic Stops thwart vibrations, while the riser’s Align Lok feature simplifies setting second- and third-axis adjustments on your bow sight. Two choices of hand grips round out the Status EKO, which Bear is calling “The best bow we’ve ever engineered.”

Affordability never shot so fast and smoothly as Bear’s Divergent EKO, which pushes the envelope at 338 fps with the smooth-drawing, high-performance EKO Cam system. The Roller HingeGuard complements the EKO cams, while a 6.5-inch brace height brings shootability to the table. The Divergent EKO flaunts a beautiful, balanced riser design that provides outstanding stability in a short 30-inch axle-to-axle length.   

Some bowhunters prefer to walk into an archery store and choose a bow that’s already outfitted with accessories. For that reason, the affordably priced Paradox in the RTH (Ready to Hunt) Package is a nice offering. A no-nonsense single cam provides a liquid-smooth draw cycle and has a relatively high velocity output of 330 fps despite a fairly generous 6 ¼-inch brace height. Six Trophy Ridge accessories perfectly complement the Paradox, while five camo finishes, including Fred Bear Camo, offer the finishing touches.

MSRP: $999.99, Status EKO; $699.99, Divergent EKO; $499.99, Paradox.

CONTACT: www.beararchery.com

 

Bowtech

Tuning is vital to achieving superior broadhead flight, and Bowtech’s Deadlock Cams featured on the Revolt not only draw smoothly and produce a high velocity, and they can be adjusted right or left and then locked down permanently for an enhanced level of tuning. The Clutch Grip comes in two variations to optimize comfort and reduce torque. The Deadlock Limb Pocket and Cable Containment further solidify that the Revolt is arguably one of the market’s most reliable bows.

If your customers prefer a longer axle-to-axle length than the 30-inch Revolt, they’ll find it in the 33-inch Revolt X. It combines a generous 6.5-inch brace height with a 340-fps rating for the best in both accuracy and kinetic energy when paired with a stout arrow. The 4.5-pound Revolt X anchors well in windy conditions and provides a steady sight picture for those intense moment-of-truth seconds. To boot, the Revolt X includes the same Deadlock features as the Revolt, laying worries to the grave and letting confidence soar.

The Reckoning 38 is Bowtech’s new flagship target bow. It features a long deflexed riser and 38-inch axle-to-axle length, which creates a new realm of stability for the committed target archer. A 4.9-pound mass weight smooths out the jitters when a podium stand is on the line. An ultra-forgiving 7 1/8-inch brace height promotes accuracy, and the Deadlock Cams offer the meticulous archer advanced tuning capabilities.

Entry-level archers have an affordable in with the Specialist II. Proven Binary Cams feature rotating modules that adjust from 23 to 32.5 inches. The Clutch Grip provides comfort and reduces torque, while the Clutch Control Grip is a custom offering sold separately. The Orbit Dampener squelches vibrations for a smooth-shooting experience. At 38 inches axle-to-axle, aspiring competitive archers will get all the stability needed to notch the X or 12 rings repeatedly.

MSRP: $1,199, Revolt; $1,199, Revolt X; $1,799, Reckoning 38; $799 Specialist II.

CONTACT: www.bowtecharchery.com

 

Elite Archery

Archery consumers can expect next-level accuracy from the KURE, Elite’s 31-inch axle-to-axle hunting bow featuring a super-long riser with Riser Cage for increased strength and rigidity. S.E.T. (Simplified Exact Tuning) allows the shooter to make precise cam adjustments at the limb pocket for a greater level of tunability. The KURE Tri-Track cams feature the Versa Mod System, which produces a smooth draw with high let-off, making the bow nearly effortless to shoot under difficult hunting conditions.

Tall bowhunters or those looking for a bowhunting bow that doubles as a target bow will find just the solution in Elite’s 37.75-inch REZULT. Like the KURE, it features S.E.T. Technology, ASYM Tri-Track Cams and the Versa Mod System. Its StabiLock limb pockets provide a wider stance and enhances the bow’s stability. Designed by professional archers, your customers can rest assured they’re getting the best accuracy, whether chasing bugling elk or a gold-medal finish.

MSRP: $1,099, KURE; $1,550, REZULT.

CONTACT: www.elitearchery.com

 

Gearhead Archery

You can’t ignore the Disrupter series’ futuristic shoot-through riser design, which bridges the gap — literally — between strength and lightweight maneuverability. The Zero Gap limb pocket design provides positive containment and offers 15 pounds of draw-weight adjustment. Easily convert Disrupter-series bows for right- and left-handed shooters. Finally, six different grip options allow you to micro-tune draw length or change brace height.

Expect an ultra-smooth draw cycle with a solid back wall and choose from an array of sweet finishes.

MSRP: $729, Disrupter 20; $749, Disrupter 24; $769, Disrupter 30.

CONTACT: www.gearheadarchery.com

 

Hoyt

Superior performance and sensational styling intersect in two bow models — one carbon, the other aluminum — within Hoyt’s new Alpha Series. Other than different construction, the Carbon RX-4 Alpha and Axius Alpha share all the same specs except for mass weight. The powerhouse ZTR Cam draws smoothly and has a firmer back wall than past ZT Cams. StealthShot Technology, TEC Risers and Roller Cable Guards are just a few of the many reasons Alpha Series bows shoot quietly and impeccably accurate.

Stepping up the ladder to Hoyt’s Ultra Series, the Carbon RX-4 Ultra and Axius Ultra are Hoyt’s most shootable bows, featuring 6¾-inch brace heights and 34-inch axle-to-axle lengths. Designed for unrivaled accuracy, smoothness and forgiveness, the Ultra Series bows are paired with the ZTR Cam to deliver a quick, well-tuned arrow. Like all current Hoyt hunting models, Ultra Series bows feature the Adjustable Grip System for lateral tuning.

Turn it up a notch with the 350-fps Hoyt Turbo Series. Choose between the Carbon RX-4 Turbo and the Helix Turbo. Modeled similarly to the Alpha Series, these slightly longer 31-inch bows share a shorter brace height of 5 7/8 inches. Don’t be fooled, though, as Turbo Series bows are outfitted with the ultra-shootable ZT Pro Turbo Cam, which manages torque, draws surprisingly smoothly and produces punishing kinetic energy. And, the X-Act Grip ensures consistent, torque-free hand placement. Topped with vibration-eliminating trimmings, Turbo Series bows align the best of both speed and shootability.  

Designed for the win is Hoyt’s Invicta 37 SVX, which features an ultra-stable Shoot-Thru TEC Riser. The StealthShot stops bowstring oscillation, which results in cleaner arrow departure and reduced vibrations. The Invicta Modular Grip is available in multiple degrees of wrist angles — something for everyone. Powered by the reliable and accurate SVX Cam, the Invicta 37 SVX is available in 10 tasteful finishes.  

MSRP: $1,699, Carbon RX-4 Alpha; $1,199, Axius Alpha, $1,749;

Carbon RX-4 Ultra; $1,249, Axius Ultra; $1,749, Carbon RX-4 Turbo; $1,249,

Helix Turbo; $1,899, Invicta 37 SVX.

CONTACT: www.hoyt.com

 

Mathews

The VXR 28 and VXR 31.5 long risers, which feature six different pass-through bridges, are fortress-like backbones that create target-bow stability in short hunting lengths. The CrossCentric Cam System, which features SwitchWeight Technology for adjusting peak draw weight, exudes smoothness and delivers fast arrows. Both VXR models are compatible with Mathews’ new Silent Connect System (SCS) kit, compatible with an SCS bow rope or bow sling. To boot, they’re available in the new proprietary Green Ambush finish. Whispery stealth is the product of parallel limbs, 3-D Damping and the StealthShot string stop. Both VXR models feature integrated dovetail mounting systems that mate perfectly with the UltraRest Integrate MX, which is available through authorized Mathews dealers.

Fast, stable and accurate: that’s Mathews’ TRX 36 and TRX 40 in a nutshell. Archers chasing 12 rings will love the CrossCentric Cam System and long riser design, which deliver smooth-drawing energy and unparalleled stability, respectively. Overhauled AVS Technology ensures on-point timing synchronization, while 3-D Damping reduces vibrations. The wider bridged riser is incredibly strong and stable. The TRX 36 has a 6.5-inch brace height and shoots 334 fps, while the TRX 40 has a more forgiving 7-inch brace height and shoots 325 fps.

MSRP: $1,099, VXR 28; $1,199, VXR 31.5; $1,849, TRX 36 and TRX 40.

CONTACT: www.mathewsinc.com

 

Obsession Bows

The all-new OB Adjustable 4-Track Cam System is just one reason why Obsession’s Evolution 6, which has a 6-inch brace height and smokes at up to 338 fps, is the cat’s meow. It provides superior tunability and shootability, plus it has the added benefit of 90 percent let-off. Perfect for treestand and spot-and-stalk hunting alike, the 33.25-inch Evolution 6 is highly maneuverable without sacrificing stability. The Evolution 7 shares these same features, but in a 7-inch brace height, 33.5-inch axle-to-axle length and 330-fps velocity.

Want to turn up the heat? Look to the Sniper SS, which has a speed rating of up to 348 fps. At 3.9 pounds and with a 30-inch axle-to-axle length, it’s highly maneuverable and features the rocket-hot 2-Track Binary Cam. A bow this fast is full of hand shock and vibrations, right? Wrong! Obsession outfits it with a string stop, limb dampeners and past-parallel limbs for a smooth-shooting experience. A highly comfortable and torque-resistant grip rounds out the package.

The OB Adjustable 4-track Cam is the Final Pro 4T’s power source, optimizing accuracy and boosting performance. Get loads of forgiveness with a lengthy 7.5-inch brace height. The riser design features a futuristic flavor with well-appointed cutouts to bring optimal balance to the bow. The split limbs even out the payload, and limb dampeners come standard to diminish vibrations. The 38-inch Final Pro 4T is an ideal length for 3-D and Vegas-style archery alike. Choose from 29 riser colors, 16 limb colors, nine string colors and three cam colors.  

MSRP: $999.99, Evolution 6 and 7; $799.99, Sniper SS; $999.99, Final Pro 4T.

CONTACT: www.obsessionbows.com

 

PSE Archery

PSE’s Carbon Air gets a facelift in the new Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1. Built entirely in the USA, your customers can know they’re getting a quality performer. The redesigned riser is longer to improve stability, while laid-back limbs provide vibration-free shooting. The redesigned grip is also a notable improvement that enhances comfort and reduces torque. At a feathery 3.5 pounds, the Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1 offers benchmark durability with non-directional carbon-fiber elements.

The Bandit NXT is for bowhunters seeking a highly maneuverable 28-inch bow with a balanced, deflexed riser design. The EM Cam draws smoothly, while a string stop and limbs dampeners hush shot noises. A trim grip design offers superior comfort, and robust limb pockets provide positive limb fitment and peace of mind while hunting in rugged settings. Designed for smaller shooters, the Bandit NXT is available in 40- and 50-pound peak weights, and draw length adjusts from 20.5-26 inches.

A bow for short-draw competitors, PSE’s Perform-X SD sends an arrow at high velocities, thanks to a 6-inch brace height and the highly efficient Evolve Micro Cam. Choose between 65 percent, 75 percent or 85 percent let-off. The premium shoot-through riser is strong, stable and accurate. The integrated grip design provides a torque-free shooting experience.

MSRP: $1,600, Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1; $1,100, Bandit NXT; $1,799.99, Perform-X SD.

CONTACT: www.psearchery.com

 

Prime

Following the tremendous success of the Logic Series, Prime unveils three new hunting models — Black 1 (31 inches), Black 3 (33 inches) and Black 5 (35 inches) — all featuring proven Centergy Technology, which balances the bows and provides a rock-steady sight picture. Black Series bows harness the Roto Cam System, which features Parallel Cam Technology and a rotating module that simplifies draw-length adjustments. Let off is adjustable from 65 to 90 percent. The 82X aluminum riser featuring Prime’s Swerve design offers benchmark stiffness and optimal balance when Black Series bows are complete with accessories. Compression Axle Technology, which is acclaimed in the motorcycle industry, provides tight tolerances and positive alignment, shot after shot, without concern of bearing slippage. Velocities of the Black 1, Black 3 and Black 5 are 332, 337 and 343 fps, respectively. Whether you prefer long or short, fast or faster, one of Prime’s new Black Series bows is sure to exceed your customers’ expectations for fit, feel and performance.

Effortless aiming is the result of Centergy Technology, which positions the bow grip at the riser’s center balance point on Prime’s new Black 9 target bow. The sheer riser length and slightly deflexed design create unfathomable aiming stability. Cam lean is history with the Parallel Roto Cam, which features adjustable draw length and adjustable stops for the archer’s desired feel. A 39-inch axle-to-axle length paired with a 7-inch brace height provides the perfect storm for the serious competitor. 

MSRP: $1,099, Black 1, 3 and 5; $1,299, Black 9.

CONTACT: www.g5prime.com

 

Xpedition Archery

Fueled by Kevin Strother’s newly designed HDS cam are the Xpedition MX-15 and MX-16. These cams allow a bow technician or skilled consumer to manipulate the feel and performance with the ability to run limb or cable stops. The limb stop creates a rock-solid back wall, and the cable stop provides a more cushioned feel. The precision engineering behind a perfectly balanced, forged and caged riser delivers phenomenal consistency. In response to customer demand, these bows feature quiver mounts and rear-stabilizer-mounting options. The MX-15 has a 5-inch brace height and the MX-16 has a 6-inch brace height. With the MX-15 producing speeds up to 362 fps, you can expect punishing kinetic energy when pairing it with a heavy arrow.

Back by popular demand is Xpedition Archery’s most sought-after model. The reinvented Denali LX (DLX) has the same overall platform as its predecessor. It shares the same brace height and axle-to-axle length but is vastly improved to enhance the shooting experience. The forged and caged riser, updated limb-pocket design and the HDS cam create a crossover bow that perfectly blends stability, consistency and performance for the competition line or the bowhunting woods.

MSRP: $1,099, MX-15 and MX-16; $1,199, DLX.

CONTACT: www.xpeditionarchery.com

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